Kamis, 27 Juli 2017

INDONESIA TO SHIFT FROM IMPORTING TO EXPORTING MAIZE

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 27 (Antara) - Indonesia has been importing maize in the past to meet the domestic need, though this year, it has stopped the imports of the commodity and is planning to become a major exporter in future.
         As part of its efforts to increase maize production and meet its goal to export the commodity in future, Indonesia is expanding the acreage of its maize plantations to 6.4 million hectares while boosting an inter-crop planting system on three million hectares of rubber and other plantations, such as palm oil plantations.
         Moreover, the Ministry of Agriculture will continue to optimize assistance for the agricultural sector by channeling various aid packages to farmer groups to support food self-sufficiency.     
    These efforts encompass the distribution of assistance in the form of seeds, agricultural equipment, and production facilities. It also involves stakeholders and directives by the Indonesian Defence Forces, police, state-owned forest firm Perum Perhutani, and state plantation company PTPN, among others.


GOVERNMENT OPTIMISTIC OF ACHIEVING INVESTMENT TARGET

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 27 (Antara) - The government is optimistic of achieving its investment target of Rp678.8 trillion set in the state budget this year.
         The government's confidence in achieving the target is based on its investment performance in the first semester of 2017, which had reached Rp336.7 trillion. This is partly due to the fact that Indonesia has been awarded an investment grade rating by international rating agencies.
         Head of the Capital Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Trikasih Lembong stated that the investment grade awarded to Indonesia must be followed by efforts to improve the business climate.
         Lembong, popularly known as Tom, informed the press on Wednesday (July 26) that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had expressed hope that the investment grade rating awarded by several international rating agencies to Indonesia would trigger the inflow of foreign capital investment in the country.
         In May, Standard & Poor's upgraded Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade BBB-, a response to Indonesia's strong fiscal management. The agency's move followed similar upgrades announced by Fitch in late 2011 and Moody's in early 2012.
         After receiving the investment grade rating, Indonesia is expected to attract more foreign investment. President Jokowi also expressed hope that foreign capital would reach up to US$10 billion.

Rabu, 26 Juli 2017

SALT PRICE SHOOTS UP AS MARKETS RUN SHORT OF STOCK

by Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, July 27 (Antara) - The markets in various parts of the country are running short of consumer salt stock, causing the price of the commodity to shoot up over the past few days.
        In Jakarta for example, the price of a small pack of salt which was usually sold at Rp2 thousand rose to Rp5 thousand at Gondangdia Market in Central Jakarta on Tuesday. "Last month, the price of the relatively larger pack was Rp30 thousand but now it is sold at Rp50 thousand," Aceng, a trader, said on Tuesday.
         The rising prices and scarcity of stock of salt took place not only in Jakarta but almost in all provinces. Therefore, a legislator has called on the government to interfere in solving the problems of the salt crisis in the country.
          The government should take actions and investigate the causes of the salt crisis. "I think, this is part of our carelessness or inability to maximize the potentials that we have," legislator Siti Mukromah who is a member of Commission VI of the House of Representatives (DPR) said in Purwokerto, Banyumas District, Central Java, on Wednesday.
         Logically, Indonesia should never run short of salt but adversely it happens now as the commodity is difficult to find in the market with normal prices. If the exploration and exploitation of salt are carried out, a crisis like now should not happen, according to Mukromah.

Selasa, 25 Juli 2017

BIAK HOLDS CONTEST TO SUPPORT EAT-FISH PROGRAM

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 25 (Antara) - The level of nutritional intake or even malnutrition of people is much decided by their consumption of food and protein found in meat, including fish meat.
         Hence, Biak District of Papua Province is holding a fish cooking contest to help promote the government's eat-fish program.
         The government has been promoting fish consumption for the past several years through its People's Eat-Fish Movement (Gemarikan) and the establishment of Fish Consumption Enhancement Forum (Forikan), as fish is one of the best sources of nutrition.
         Lack of nutrition can cause chronic malnutrition which could affect a child, resulting in stunted growth. In order to prevent chronic malnutrition, people are urged to increase their fish consumption level.
         The protein in fish meat is needed to support health, particularly the growth of children. Moreover, stunted growth in Indonesia still accounts in about 27.5 percent of the population. The figure is actually a decline from 37.2 percent over the past three years.
         "We continue to monitor the nutritional status over the past three years. It has dropped to 27.5 percent from 37.2 percent. Though the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) data shows 29.6 percent, yet it still shows a decline," Health Minister Nila Moeloek said at the Vice Presidential Office on Wednesday (July 12).

Sabtu, 22 Juli 2017

TANGERANG ORGANIZES FESTIVAL TO PROMOTE ITS TOURISM

 By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, July 22 (Antara) - The regional government of Tangerang City, Tangerang District, Banten Province, is holding a week-long annual 'Cisadane Festival' along the Cisadane River to reflect its local cultures and promote its tourism.
        As in the previous years, the Cisadane Festival this year, scheduled to last from July 22 to 29, will be highlighted with various cultural festivals. The city government of Tangerang will invite all districts and cities in Banten Province to take part in it.
        "Some of the activities will take place in Jalan Benteng Jaya along the Cisadane River," Head of Tangerang City's Culture and Tourism Service, Raden Rina Hernaningsih, said, as quoted by the Tangerang City's official website, tangerangkota.go.id. 
   The activities will take place both on the street/Ciadane river banks and in the river because the event will present a band festival and a decorated dragon boat race.

        According to Hernaningsih, one of the goals of this year's Cisadane Festival is to provide a facility for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to promote their business and to empower the community's business, apart from highlighting the splendor of the Cisadane River and providing entertainment for the local people and tourists.

GOVERNMENT TO EASE IMPORT OF INDUSTRIAL SALT

By Andi Abdussalam
           Jakarta, July 22 (Antara) - The government will ease the importation of industrial salt in order to overcome the current shortage of raw material or raw salt being faced by industries in the country.
         To this purpose, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) will issue a ministerial regulation that will no longer make it necessary to obtain a recommendation in order to import salt.
         Based on Law No. 7 of 2016 on Protection and Empowerment of Fishermen, Fish Breeders and Salt Farmers, a recommendation from the KKP must be obtained to import industrial and consumer salt.
         Industries are currently facing a shortage of raw salt for industry. To overcome the problem, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, on Friday (July 14), held a meeting with Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, and KKP Minister Susi Pudjiastuti to discuss the issue of industrial salt
    One of the results of the meeting is that the Trade Ministry will no longer need a recommendation from the KKP before it can issue a license to industries to import industrial salt as part of the efforts to cope with the shortage of industrial salt.

         "The KKP will issue a regulation where the importation of industrial salt will no longer need a recommendation from us," KKP Minister Pudjiastuti was quoted as saying by Tempo.Co. on Saturday (July 15).

Kamis, 20 Juli 2017

EXTERNAL DEBTS USED TO BUILD INFRASTRUCTURE

 by Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, July 21 (Antara) - Indonesia's rising foreign debts should not be a cause for concern as far as they are managed well and are used for developing infrastructures which will help boost the country's economic growth.
        Indonesia's foreign debts rose 5.5 percent to US$333.6 billion year-on-year as of May 2017 following an 11.8 percent rise in public debts to US$168.4 billion, according to Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia/BI).
       "As long as the government is carrying out budget expansion for infrastructure development and its debt ratio is not too high, we will remain sustainable," Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution told Commission XI on financial affairs of the House of Representatives (DPR) Monday last.
         Finance Minister Sri Mulyani also described Indonesia's debts as still within the safety condition where in 2016 Indonesia's external debt ratio position was 28 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or about Rp3,466 trillion (some $258.9 billion based on the conversion rate of Rp13,387/$1).
         "The Indonesian debt ratio is relatively lower than those of other G20 countries ASEAN member nations," Mulyani told a plenary session on the implementation of 2016 state budget at the Parliament Tuesday (July 18).